How the AP-NORC poll on Social Security was conducted

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Poll on the attitudes of Americans age 50 and over on work and retirement was conducted from March 8-27 by NORC at the University of Chicago. It is based on online and telephone interviews of 1,075 adults age 50 and over, most of whom are members of NORC’s nationally representative AmeriSpeak panel.

The survey was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which makes grants to support original research and whose Working Longer program seeks to expand understanding of aging Americans’ work patterns.

Interviews included 739 AmeriSpeak panel members who completed the survey online and 320 who completed it over the phone.

For interviews conducted using the AmeriSpeak panel, the original sample was drawn from respondents selected randomly from NORC’s National Frame based on address-based sampling and recruited by mail, email, telephone and face-to-face interviews.

NORC interviews participants over the phone if they don’t have Internet access. With a probability basis and coverage of people who can’t access the Internet, surveys using AmeriSpeak are nationally representative.

Interviews with AmeriSpeak panelists were conducted in English. In addition, 16 interviews were conducted in Spanish with households who were re-contacted after participating in a previous AP-NORC center telephone survey.

As is done routinely in surveys, results were weighted, or adjusted, to ensure that responses accurately reflect the population’s makeup by factors such as age, sex, education, census region and race. In addition, the weighting took into account patterns of nonresponse among panel members selected for the survey.

No more than 1 time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than plus or minus 3.9 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all adults 50 years old and older in the U.S. were polled.

There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions.

The questions and results are available at

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